The Question of the Integration of the Hungarian Minority in Romania

Thursday, July 13, 2017
East Quad Lecture Theatre (University of Glasgow)
Judit Molnar Sansum , School of Social and Political Sciences, University of Glasgow
In the last two and a half decades ethnic minorities have been recognised and acknowledged in many Central and East European countries and from the 1990s various forms of Non-Territorial Cultural Autonomy (NTCA) have been adopted. In Romania the debate about NTCA was never taken to parliament despite the significant number of ethnic minorities in the country and the continuous presence on the political stage of the case of the Hungarian minorities. This paper investigates the integration of the Hungarian minority in Romania and it aims to answer the following questions:

• What is the impact of the legacy of the Trianon Treaty and Communism on the Transylvanian Hungarian community's current situation?

• How important is Hungarian citizenship for Hungarians in Romania and how does this affect their lives and their integration process into the Romanian political society?

• How has the question of autonomy for the Hungarian minority been seen in Romania?

• What are the future perspectives for Hungarians in Romania?

Between autumn 2015 and spring 2016 I conducted 29 interviews with politicians, Hungarian leaders of municipal self-governments, researchers and minority activists in Transylvania and Bucharest. This paper introduces preliminary findings from the Romanian case study of the ESRC project, National Minority Rights & Democratic Political Community: Practices of Non-territorial Cultural Autonomy in Contemporary Central and Eastern Europe.